MARGARET Gill is the first woman in history to be inducted into the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) hall of fame.
She was known for her talent as a bronc rider and earned a reputation as one of the toughest competitors on the circuit.
Together with husband John “Happy” Gill, the pair were both inducted into the hall of fame, which is considered the highest esteemed honour within the APRA.
Sadly Mrs Gill died earlier this year and her funeral at The Rock was attended by a strong gathering of rodeo competitors and friends from throughout the country.
For mourners distance was no barrier and people traveled from far afield to pay their respects and recognise the contribution she made.
It was a contribution not only to her sport but also in running community events, fund raising and promoting rodeo projects.
Mr Bradshaw acknowledged Mrs Gill’s stellar performance as both a competitor and an event organiser and it was noted that she played a valuable role in providing opportunities for other cowgirls to follow her path.
On Sunday, after driving back from a Professional Bull Riding Event (PBR) in Sydney, which was attended by tens of thousands of people Mr Gill contacted The Daily Advertiser to talk about the accomplishments of his late wife and business partner.
“This is the first time the APRA has inducted a woman into the hall of fame,” he said.
“Margaret was recognised for riding in the three different saddles,” he said.
Over the years the saddles used in rough stock events have evolved from what was a traditional Australian stock saddle through to an international saddle and now the more modern bronc saddles that are used in rodeos today.
Both Mr and Mrs Gill – who both hold life membership to the APRA – are now inductees into the hall of fame.
The announcement follows a string of accomplishments for the pair who have bred some of Australia’s most successful bulls and horses.
These animals have gone onto win nationally-recognised awards within the various associations that operate in Australia and overseas.
In addition to making her mark as a competitor Mrs Gill was also known for her work in running the Wagga Pro Rodeo each year.
The event at the Equex Centre regularly drew capacity crowds and despite being rained out on a couple of occasions it was a major draw-card for family entertainment in Wagga.
- Fairfax journalist Nikki Reynolds is the APRA media person of the year.